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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Richard Garnett 1835–1906

The Fair Circassian


FORTY Viziers saw I go

Up to the Seraglio,

Burning, each and every man,

For the fair Circassian.

Ere the morn had disappear’d,

Every Vizier wore a beard;

Ere the afternoon was born,

Every Vizier came back shorn.

“Let the man that woos to win

Woo with an unhairy chin;”

Thus she said, and as she bid

Each devoted Vizier did.

From the beards a cord she made,

Loop’d it to the balustrade,

Glided down and went away

To her own Circassia.

When the Sultan heard, wax’d he

Somewhat wroth, and presently

In the noose themselves did lend

Every Vizier did suspend.

Sages all, this rhyme who read,

Guard your beards with prudent heed,

And beware the wily plans

Of the fair Circassians.